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Called to Attendance Officer meeting for term time holiday pre compulsory school age(8 Posts)
I have been asked to meet the school attendance officer because we took our child out of Reception for five days for a holiday. Our child is five but won't be compulsory school age until 1 September as their birthday was after 1 April.
Prior to this we had a letter after winter term saying their attendance was below target %, (it was still in the 90s, they had some days off for illnesses which i informed school about, and we were late one morning), the school letter said children should aim for 100% attendance which I actually disagree with as it's appropriate they stay home at times when they are sick. Next term we got a medal due to 100% attendance.
Is the meeting compulsory? The receptionist on the phone was uncertain.
What might be the consequences of cancelling?
What would they discuss in the meeting?
I don't want to create more problems for the sake of a short meeting, but I don't want to have to unnecessarily discuss this.
It's part of procedure for most schools. Legally they can't do anything because your child isn't CSA. I had to go to one during my daughter's reception year. It was a waste of time...I wanted a flexi schooling arrangement but they wouldn't allow it. Although they can't enforce anything I think they do it to pressure you. I don't know the consequences of cancelling. It's likely the meeting is about preventing it in future and discussing importance of being at school. If you aren't likely to do it again then it's probably fine. To keep things ok between you and the school you could decline the meeting but acknowledge the fall in percentage in writing and state that they aren't yet CSA but that you hope health will enable good percentages once they are.
I would not worry that much about this meeting as most schools do it or send letters about declining attendance and ask to contact school if a parent needs help with bringing the child to school. I think that this will be quite an informal talk and they will just try to explain to you how taking a child out of school during term time for an unnecessary (in their eyes) reason can affect their education etc.
Although your child is pre-compulsory school age, he/she does attend the school and so his/hers absence does bring the school's overall attendance down, so that's probably why they have to speak to you.
Did you ask school's permission for the holidays and if yes, did they decline? Still, many parents do take their children away even if schools decline, and never get any letters, meetings or even fines.
I really would not worry and would attend the meeting for sure. It really might be very friendly and informal and if it isn't and they are patronising then tell them your child is not yet compulsory school age and you had no idea
All schools have to prove to OFSTED that they have measures in place to deal with attendance and falling attendance. They should be supportive, is there anything we can do to help, support you? They may say something about holiday absences not just being disruptive for your daughter but for the other children and creates extra work for the teacher. They will have procedures in places and you have fallen within these parameters. I work a secondary school so not sure about the compulsory school age but. Personally, I'd go to the meeting and suck it up. Primary schools are so small you want to maintain good relationships with the school staff.
I think you should go to the meeting, point out nicely that they are below CSA but emphasise that you accept that the school is looking for pupils to be in 100% of time if at all possible. Any brownie points earned now can be used next year if illness does strike.
Is the meeting booked in or does it just say please call XXX to discuss.
Because if it's the later I've had two of them for my son who's under the compulsory age and I just ignored them. It's never been mentioned or brought up again.
I would just politely decline to attend as your child is not legally required to attend.